Cat Adoption Procedures during COVID-19

For staff and visitor safety during the COVID-19 health crisis, Animal Aid has initiated a temporary change in cat adoption services using an online, contactless process. Please take a moment to read through these procedures below.

Dog adoption services will remain similar to ordinary operations; however, all meet-and-greets will take place outdoors at the shelter or foster home and follow proper social distancing guidelines. Home visits will take place partly or fully via video conference.

Please note that the shelter is still closed to the public except by appointment. 

How do I meet the cats available for adoption?

Prospective adopters will meet cats by video call instead of in the shelter or in foster homes. On our online bios for cats, we include information about their personality, photos, and videos to help you get to know the cats as much as possible beforehand. We will process an application fully before we set up a video call with an Adoption Counselor and the cat(s) you are interested in.

What happens when I submit an application online?

You will receive an email confirming receipt of your application, and one of our trained adoption counselors will reach out to you with any questions we have. Once your application has been fully processed (including verification of home ownership or pet-friendly rental acommodations and veterinary and/or personal reference checks), we will contact you to schedule an online adoption counseling session.

Additional details:

  • You must be 21 years or older to adopt from Animal Aid.
  • In keeping with our lifetime return policy, we rarely adopt outside of the Portland metro area.
  • If we have multiple applications for the same animal, we go with the best match, not first come/first served.

We try to make initial contact within 24 hours of receiving an application; however, because we operate a small staff with very limited volunteers at this time, we cannot guarantee this timeframe. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

How will I know if the cat I applied for gets adopted by someone else?

Once an adoption is finalized, all other applicants will be notified by email that the cat is no longer available.

What is an “adoption counseling” session?

An adoption counseling session is an opportunity for potential adopters to ask questions about the specific cat they are interested in, as well as get answers to general cat care questions and discuss our adoption policies. Through this discussion, our trained adoption counselors will also help to ensure that the cat you’re interested in is the right match for your home. This is an especially important conversation right now since we’ve made some changes to our policies in response to COVID-19 and its impacts. We will also ask you to show us (by video) around your home as appropriate, as we typically do a home visit as the final step of our adoption process.

How will I meet with an adoption counselor and complete adoption paperwork?

Your adoption counseling session will take place via an online video conferencing app such as Google Duo, Meet, or Zoom. We have a paperless, online process for signing your adoption contract and receiving adoption paperwork online. 

If my adoption is approved, when will I pick up my new family member?

Pick-ups will be done by appointment and take place in the shelter parking lot with a “no contact” process to keep staff and adopters safe.

Adoption Fees

All of our animals are vaccinated, treated for parasites, microchipped, spayed or neutered, and cats are tested for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLv). All animals receive any necessary veterinary care (dentals, etc.) until the time of adoption.

Most of our animals do not have a set adoption fee; instead, we ask for a donation of your choosing at the time of adoption. Your donation enables us to continue helping animals in our community stay healthy and find loving homes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do Animal Aid’s cats and dogs come from?

We partner with several different animal welfare organizations throughout Oregon and beyond to assist cats and dogs in need. We are also periodically contacted by veterinarians asking us to take in cats and dogs from a variety of rescue situations.

Where do Animal Aid’s cats and dogs come from?

We partner with several different animal welfare organizations throughout Oregon and beyond to assist cats and dogs in need. We are also periodically contacted by veterinarians asking us to take in cats and dogs from a variety of rescue situations.

Are your pets healthy?

Yes. Our animals visit our partner veterinarians for testing, exams, vaccinations, spaying or neutering (if 4 months of age or older), and any other needed treatments. We also have a partner veterinarian who does weekly rounds with our Animal Care Manager to ensure that our shelter animals are healthy and thriving. All of our adoptable cats have tested negative for FeLv and FIV.

Why does Animal Aid prefer to adopt kittens in pairs, with another cat, or to a home with a kitten-tolerant resident cat?

Here are 5 good reasons to adopt two kittens together:

  1. One kitten can become lonely and bored, especially if the owners are working or in school for most of the day. Boredom is one of the top causes of problem behaviors.
  2. Two kittens socialize each other. When they play rough, they let each other know how much biting is too much. They learn what is acceptable play behavior and what is unacceptable aggressive behavior.
  3. One kitten can easily irritate an adult cat. Some families adopt a kitten when they have an older cat with the thought that the older cat will more easily accept a kitten rather than another adult cat. This is not necessarily true. The kitten will likely want to play constantly, not know boundaries, and pester the older cat until the older cat becomes stressed.
  4. Kittens find comfort in each other –just watch them sleeping curled together!
  5. When you adopt two kittens, you save two lives.

What exactly is a STAR pet?

STAR stands for Support The Animals Remaining. STAR pets, who are usually adopted quickly, provide financial support to other Animal Aid animals through their adoption fee.

The shelter animals they help support may need many months of medical or social rehabilitation before they are ready for their forever home. STAR pets all have a set adoption fee, specified on their personal adoption page.

What is the lifetime return policy for adopted pets?

Animal Aid commits to the animals we rescue for life, including post-adoption support and a lifetime return policy.

Our adoption contract states that you agree to return an Animal Aid alum directly to our shelter if a major life change makes it impossible for you to keep the pet in your home. The animal will always have a safe place to return to with us, instead of potentially ending up in a kill shelter again or on the streets.

Please note: Any donation you made at the time of adoption is nonrefundable.

Have more questions?

Contact us at 503-292-6628 or

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